Harmony Korine’s movie featuring Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens is not the usual brand of Sunny Delights. You will find Gomez smoking a bong and smoking trash, while Hudgens toting a pistol and inviting patrons her local Chicken Shack to “give me your motherfucking money or I’m going to shoot your fucking brains out”. Korine has shown how woozy and debauched the mainstream can be in a college-kid caper. So far, Spring Breakers movie is the weirdest ant wildest movie at Venice as it is horrid, ghastly and bizarrely engrossing.
Once again, I would like to emphasize that this picture is quite the weirdest and wildest beast we’ve seen. In the movie, Gomez stars as Faith – the God-fearing good girl who takes a vacation with her more hedonistic buddies Candy (Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine). Unable to fund the trip by legitimate means, the quartet elect to rob a fast-food joint and light out for Florida. In Korine’s world, the sacred and profane have a habit of blurring. Matters take a further swerve into the rough when the girls are first busted by the cops and then bailed out by a jittery drug-dealer with extravagant corn-rows, silver teeth and a tattooed tear-drop below one eye. That guy is Alien (James Franco), and his tattoo seems to show how sensitive he is. Alien owns a gaudy mansion on the coast. He has guns on the wall, banknotes on his bed and a grand piano by the pool that he uses to serenade guests with tinkling covers of Britney Spears songs.
Korine get full credit for sustain this act of creative vandalism right through to the finish. Spring Breakers unfolds as a fever dream of teenage kicks in a high-concept heist movie with mescal in the fuel tank. Spring Breakers director plays with the plot and kicks away the signposts. He loops the dialogue and drags a dilated, ecstatic camera-lens across honeyed flesh and painted nails. The result is his most fully realized, purely satisfying feature movie.
In the end, it’s not just the girls who return from their “break from reality” wearing a bold new set of threads. Korine went to Florida as the ageing enfant terrible of arthouse independent cinema, his career in a cul-de-sac, his future behind him. He bounces back like a man possessed playing disreputable paterfamilias to a fresh breed of super vixens.